Common Eye Conditions to Discuss with Your Doctor
- Myopia: Blurry vision when looking at objects far away, but clearer when looking near. This is due to rays of light from distant objects being focused in front of your retina. You may need glasses, contacts or refractive laser surgery to correct this.
- Hyperopia: Can cause blurry vision at both distant and near objects although nearer objects appear blurrier than distant ones. This is due to light rays from objects being focused behind your retina. You may need glasses, contacts or corrective laser surgery.
- Astigmatism: Your vision may appear distorted and blurry (think of your reflection in an amusement park house of mirrors) both with distant and near objects. This is due to the front curvature and possibly the lens of your eye, shaped more like a football than a basketball.
- Presbyopia: Increasing inability to focus on small objects or fine print up close. Most adult over 45yrs of age may experience this and require reading glasses.
- Amblyopia: Childhood blindness resulting from poor visual development in an eye at an early age. There are many causes of amblyopia including failure to wear glasses at an early age, crossed eyes or other eye abnormality.
- Strabismus (Crossed-eyes, lazy eye): Commonly seen in young children or occasionally in adults when one or both eyes moves differently or fails to track in the same direction as the other. This could be a sign of a more serious medical or eye condition and a visit to your eye care professional is highly recommended.
- Double vision: Can occur due to a misalignment of your eyes. This can be a sign of a more serious medical or eye condition and a visit to your eye care professional is highly recommended.
- Droopy eye lids: May be a common sign of ageing, or can be a sign of a more serious condition. Depending on the cause of the droopy eye lid, surgery may be an option. In cosmetic circumstances, surgery to repair a droopy eyelid (cosmetic blepharoplasty) is not covered by health insurances.
- Blepharitis: This is a common inflammatory condition of the eyelid skin and eye lashes that can result in itchy, burning, red, sticky or crusty eyes. Some patients experience thinning or loss of their eyelashes over time. Talk to your doctor about some common eye care remedies for this condition. You may also be a candidate for cosmetic Latisse®, a medication that helps grow your eyelashes thicker and fuller.
- Stye (Chalazion or Hordeolum): is a bump on the eyelid usually caused by a blocked oil gland. This may or may not be painful and frequently responds to some simple home care remedies like warm compresses. If persistent or painful, consult with your eye care professional.
- Dry Eye: A common, frequently multifactorial condition in which your eyes are not properly lubricated resulting in tired, painful and red, or burning eyes. Vision may be blurry and accompanied by a gritty or foreign body sensation. Dry eye may be a sign of a more serious underlying medical condition and a visit to your eye care professional is highly recommended.
- Pink Eye: This is a common condition caused by viruses, bacteria, chemicals or allergy exposure. Common signs of pink eye are redness, pain, irritation, and discharge. Depending on the cause of pink eye, the disease may be easily transmitted to other people.
- Iritis/ Uveitis: This is a common inflammatory condition of your eyes resulting in pain and light sensitivity in one or both eyes. This condition may point to a serious underlying medical condition like infection or autoimmune disease, however in most cases no cause is identified.
- Glaucoma: a group of diseases many of which are silent and produce no symptoms or warning signs until the later onset of blindness, which is frequently not reversible. Risk factors include Black, Hispanic or Asian ancestry or ethnicity, age, and family history. Talk to your eye care professional about being screened for this condition.
- Cataract: a clouding of the lens of the eye resulting in blurring of vision and inability to engage in common daily tasks like reading, watching tv or seeing road signs to drive. Common causes of cataract include ageing, injuries, medical conditions like diabetes, and various medications. Cataract is the most common cause of reversible vision loss in the world. Cataract surgery is a simply and effective way of improving the condition and we recommend you talk to your eye care professional.
- Floaters & Flashers: A sudden onset of one or multiple floating objects in your vision (floaters), with or without accompanying flashes of light (Flashers) may be a sign of a simple degenerative process, or a more urgent ocular condition like a retinal tear or retinal detachment. A fully dilated eye exam is necessary in most cases to diagnose and treat the underlying cause. An urgent visit to your eye care professional is recommended.
- Macular Degeneration: A disease of the retina, frequently affecting elderly patients and resulting in a progressive loss of central vision. Risk factors include elderly age, smoking, and Caucasian ethnicity. Consult your eye care professional for screening and further education.
- Diabetic Retinopathy: A disease of the retina involving areas of progressive abnormal blood vessel growth and bleeding, frequently seen in long-standing diabetics, and with poor systemic glucose control. When untreated and uncontrolled the disease can have a devastating effect on one’s vision and regular visits to your eye care professional are highly recommended.
Tips on Good Eyecare
Routine eye exams can help you maintain the health of you eyes from proper glass prescriptions to detection of disease.
Eye exams are recommended for most adults once a year.
After the age of 40, more frequent visits may be needed for people with a family history of eye disease or with underlying medical conditions.
For specific concerns, do not hesitate to ask your primary care physician for a referral. Children should be examined at least once by age 5 or upon referral.
Links to Medical Information
The American Academy of Ophthalmology is the largest national membership association of Eye M.D.s. Ophthalmologists are medical and osteopathic physicians who provide comprehensive eye care, including medical, surgical and optical care.
This award-winning organization provides eye exams and up to one year of care to US citizens and legal residents within the Continental U.S, Hawaii and Puerto Rico through volunteer ophthalmologists (EyeMDs) often at no out-of-pocket cost to those who qualify.
BOTOX® Cosmetic is a prescription medicine that is injected into muscles and used to improve the look of moderate to severe frown lines between the eyebrows (glabellar lines) in adults for a short period of time (temporary).
LATISSE® is a prescription treatment for hypotrichosis (inadequate or not enough lashes) to grow eyelashes longer, fuller, darker.
Allergan, Inc. is a multi-specialty health care company focused on discovering, developing and commercializing innovative pharmaceuticals, biologics, medical devices and over-the-counter consumer products that enable people to live life to its greatest potential — to see more clearly, move more freely, express themselves more fully.
As the global leader in eye care, Alcon develops and manufactures innovative medicines and devices to serve the full life cycle of eye care needs.